A Quick Guide to Boat Safety

For western Kentucky residents, Barkley and Kentucky lakes offer some of the best summer thrills. Locals flock to the water with their fishing boats, pontoon boats, and sailboats to spend warm, lazy weekends floating on the waves. We want you to have as much fun as possible during your time at the lakes, so we’ve compiled a list of boat safety tips that will keep you on the water and out of the emergency room.

 

Forget the booze.

You need to stay alert while piloting a boat, so leave your alcohol on the shore.

 

Wear your life jacket.

We know life jackets can seem dorky, uncomfortable, or unnecessary, but they really do save lives. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, 84.5% of 2017 drowning victims weren’t wearing their jackets—so make sure your children all have proper flotation devices and either put yours on or keep it handy.

 

Beware of carbon monoxide.  

Combustion engines and onboard motor generators produce carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas, so make sure you and your passengers never breathe it.

 

Keep and maintain safety equipment onboard.

Make sure your boat has Coast Guard-approved life jackets for every passenger, along with a throwing device. Also, keep a fire extinguisher on the vessel and check to see if the boat lights work before leaving the dock. Bring extra batteries for the lights.

 

Don’t overload your boat.

Check your vessel’s capacity plate (should be placed near the operator’s position) to see how much gear and how many passengers your boat can handle. Never exceed that limit, or you’ll risk capsizing.

 

Stay alert.

Always be aware of your surroundings and note details like weather conditions and other vessels in the water. This awareness will help you react quickly and responsibly during emergencies.

 

Several of these rules are designed to reduce your risk of boat accidents, but they won’t eliminate the threats completely. If anything happens, good boat insurance policy will help get the damage fixed as quickly as possible. Call us today at 270-554-4533 to look at your options. For further information on boat safety, click here.